Teaching your toddler to clean up

Cleanup time

When can you start teaching your toddler to clean up. Not the point below carefully.

“If a child is old enough to get out a toy to play, she is old enough to put it away.”

So if your child is capable of choosing which toy to play with from the toy box; he/she is also capable of putting it back when done playing with.

Let me put forth some strategies that can get this done.

Choosing language or choice of words carefully

The child isn’t born with inherent cleaning skill. It is something that is learnt on observation or upon being told. So just a blunt “clean up your toys” is not going to take you anywhere in this situation. Break the clean up into smaller tasks. Teach them to group things according to size or type. Breaking up cleaning into smaller tasks makes it manageable and also easier for them to start with. I am sure a good way of communication is the key to get the toddler moving.

Start young

IF your toddler is just two but loves watching what the parents do. You can very well start teaching them. Give them a dust cloth or small broom with dust pan to start with. They can imitate what you do.

Cleaning up

Necessity of cleaning up

As a grown up, we know what clean up means, but to a toddler it means putting away the fun. Give them a reason or explain consequences with which they can relate; it makes it easier in this way. Tell them someone might trip, fall off and get hurt or the toddler cannot find the toy in the same place if it’s not put back.

Create Kid-Friendly Storage for Toys

Make sure toy storage is kid friendly. They should be able to pick up and clean up with ease. Place them in boxes- say one for blocks, one for stuffed toys and so on.

Less toys, rotate and one set at a time

It is better to segregate them into sets; which is another way. Less toys means very little time required for cleanup. Always rotate the sets so that they don’t get bored. Stop buying the same kind of toys. Also make sure only one set is out at a time.

Cleaning up

Do it with a Tune!

There are a lot of youtube kid channels which have a cleanup song. Show them how it’s done. This might help them understand easier. So whenever it’s time for cleanup you can join in, sing and do it together. Do you want to know what’s our favourite cleanup song. Check it out.

Make it a Game

This makes a wonderful game. You can set the timer and tell them do complete before the buzzer goes on. Or you can tell them to complete before we finish folding clothes. Doing it this way increases the fun factor.

Don’t make it perfect

When the play area is finally clean, leave it as it is. If the blocks aren’t stacked properly or the dust cloth is not put back straight, leave it. As long as the place is clean, don’t redo what was done. A toddler cannot clean up like an adult. But if you still do it again to get it perfect, something like you redo what was done, the toddler might not be inclined to do it the next time; because they know we would redo it anyways.

Putting toys to sleep

IF the toddler cleans up before sleep time, tell them the toys need to sleep in their respective places, so we need to make sure they are kept in respective places. Maybe the child can also cultivate the habit of saying goodnight to the toys once its cleaned up.

Set a good example

Before making the toddler do the cleanup, we ourselves should set a good example for them. IF not now, we should not put ourselves into a situation that we still make a mess and expect the child to do a cleanup.

What are the benefits of teaching them cleanup?

Learn Skills they use life long

The home is the perfect place to teach them skills which they could use for the rest of their lives. Once they learn now they needn’t have to be calling you for learning it again and again.

Learning to be responsible

Responsibility is a serious skill to teach. Each day we see kids who have been brought up without being taught what is being responsible like. I really don’t like the sight of it nor does it look good to witness. It’s a very important quality we teach kids that what is expected of them and there are other people who count on them.

Learning value of work

Work is not something we hate nor do we love to work. But over the pace of time we do learn its importance by taking part in the activity. We not only teach them the value but also be a good participant(worker). We are rewarded by our kids standing out from the peer population if we teach them the skill of work and its value.

Learning to appreciate

Do you know that cleaning up also teaches the child to appreciate the effort that goes into it? They also learn to care for what they own by cleaning and putting it away when not needed anymore.

Learning to value home

By teaching them how to clean we also educate them to value where they live. It helps them to exhibit respect for the people they live with. They learn to recognize that the space is being shared by others, and therefore we show respect to them and ourselves by cleaning.

Learning natural consequences

If we end up cleaning after them, especially when they are of age three or more they’re don’t learn natural consequences. It gives them the thought that “ I can make a mess and I have somebody to clean it up for me’.

Book blitz – Qualify by Vera Nazarian

Book & Author Details:
Qualify
by Vera Nazarian
(The Atlantis Grail #1)
Publication date: December 20th 2014
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Synopsis:

The Atlantis Grail has been optioned for development as a feature film series and/or TV series.

You have two options. You die, or you Qualify.

The year is 2047. An extinction-level asteroid is hurtling toward Earth, and the descendants of ancient Atlantis have returned from the stars in their silver ships to offer humanity help.

But there’s a catch.

They can only take a tiny percent of the Earth’s population back to the colony planet Atlantis. And in order to be chosen, you must be a teen, you must be bright, talented, and athletic, and you mustQualify.

Sixteen-year-old Gwenevere Lark is determined not only to Qualify but to rescue her entire family.

Because there’s a loophole.

If you are good enough to Qualify, you are eligible to compete in the brutal games of theAtlantis Grail, which grants all winners the laurels, high tech luxuries, and full privileges of Atlantis Citizenship. And if you are in the Top Ten, then all your wildest wishes are granted… Such as curing your mother’s cancer.

There is only one problem.

Gwen Lark is known as a klutz and a nerd. While she’s a hotshot in classics, history, science, and languages, the closest she’s come to sports is a backyard pool and a skateboard.

This time she is in over her head, and in for a fight of her life, against impossible odds and world-class competition—including Logan Sangre, the most amazing guy in her school, the one she’s been crushing on, and who doesn’t seem to know she exists.

Because every other teen on Earth has the same idea.

You Qualify or you die.

AUTHOR BIO:

VERA NAZARIAN is a two-time Nebula Award Finalist, a Dragon Award 2018 Finalist, an award-winning artist, and member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, a writer with a penchant for moral fables and stories of intense wonder, true love, and intricacy.

She is the author of critically acclaimed novels DREAMS OF THE COMPASS ROSE and LORDS OF RAINBOW, the outrageous parodies MANSFIELD PARK AND MUMMIES and NORTHANGER ABBEY AND ANGELS AND DRAGONS, and most recently, PRIDE AND PLATYPUS: MR. DARCY’S DREADFUL SECRET in her humorous and surprisingly romantic Supernatural Jane Austen Series, as well as the Renaissance epic fantasy COBWEB BRIDE Trilogy, and the high-octane adventure YA / teen dystopian apocalyptic bestselling science fiction series THE ATLANTIS GRAIL that has been optioned fordevelopment as a feature film series and/or TV series.

After many years in Los Angeles, Vera lives in a small town in Vermont, and uses her Armenian sense of humor and her Russian sense of suffering to bake conflicted pirozhki and make art.

Her official author website is http://www.veranazarian.com

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Book blitz – Jackal by Kelly Oliver

Jessica James Mystery, Book 4
Mystery
Date Published: September 30, 2018
Publisher: KAOS Press
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With only an old photograph to go on, spunky heroine Jessica James is sent on a mission by her dying mother to find a washed up magician called the Mesmerizer. Along the way, Jessica gets way more than she bargained for when she stumbles into a black market organ ring and learns secrets about her mother that will change her own life forever. The cast of characters she meets on her whirlwind search of Las Vegas will have you laughing out loud. With wit and grit, Jessica and her posse take on the dangerous and deadly seamy side of Vegas.
The latest from Award Winning Author, Kelly Oliver will keep you entertained from beginning to end.
Other Books in the Jessica James Mystery Series:
WOLF
A Jessica James Mystery, Book One
Publisher: KAOS Press
Published: June 2016
Voted #1 Women’s Mystery On Goodreads
Forward Magazine Award Best Mystery Finalist
IPPY Award Gold Medalist, Best Mystery/Thriller
What if the evil professor you fantasized about murdering actually wound up… dead?
Award winning author, Kelly Oliver serves up an irreverent murder mystery with flavors of hard-boiled mobster grit along with a fierce female lead readers will adore. Endearingly awkward, and downright hilarious, Jessica James is a brilliant philosopher who’s much more than curious—she’s fearless. Plus there’s Jesse’s ragtag posse—Amber, the tech-savvy hippie, Jack, a wise-cracking stoner, and Lolita, the seductive “poker Tsarina”—as the icing on the cake.
Smart, capable women shine in this cast. For anyone who has ever wanted to murder the Wolf in their life.
COYOTE
A Jessica James Mystery, Book Two
Publisher: KAOS Press
Published: August 2016
Silver Falchion Winner
Can a 21-year-old grad student crush Goliath? All eyes on Jessica James, resident badass…
Jessica James, scrappy cowgirl-turned-philosopher, returns home for summer break, only to take on one of the biggest oil companies in the country—and its connections to corruption, sex trafficking, and murder. A murder way too close to home…
She’s not home an hour when her cousin Mike hints that a series of freak accidents at the lumber mill where he works might not be what they seem. So when Mike is killed in the saw room the day after an argument with the mill’s new owners, the Knight brothers, Jessica knows it’s no accident.
Working at Glacier Park to earn just enough money for books and whiskey, Jessica meets the secretive Kimi RedFox, who’s on a mission to stop Knight Industries from fracking on Blackfeet land. Even more distressing, Kimi accuses the Knight brothers of operating a prostitution ring on the reservation. It doesn’t take long until Jessica is pulled into Kimi’s David versus Goliath battle with the Knight brothers. Ready to fight to save Kimi’s young sisters from human trafficking, and find out who killed Mike, Jessica isn’t as ready for the surprising discovery about the accident that killed her father eleven years ago.
Fans who like their female protagonists fierce and fearless will get a real kick out of this one from award winning author, Kelly Oliver.
FOX
A Jessica James Mystery, Book Three
Publisher: KAOS Press
Published: May 2017
GENES TO DIE FOR—AND SOMEONE DOES…
When Jessica James wakes up half naked behind a dumpster in downtown Chicago, she thinks at first the hot intern feeding her Fiery Mule Slammers slipped her a Mickey. But after a pattern of similar incidents around Northwestern Research Hospital, Jessica realizes she wasn’t raped, she was robbed. Robbed of something as valuable as life itself. Hunting for the predator drugging and dumping Ivy League co-eds, Jessica discovers secrets about her own identity that force her to rethink her past. The solution to the mystery lies in the cowgirl philosopher’s boot-cut genes.
The “dumpster girls” are all top of their class, attractive college girls, who are drugged and dropped unconscious behind dumpsters. The police are baffled. But the perp doesn’t stop there—one of his victims turns up dead. Armed with her quick wit and cowgirl grit, Jessica takes it on herself to solve the bewildering medical mystery and save herself and her friends… before they become the next grisly victims.
At Jesse’s beck and call is her longtime confidante Jack Grove, an easy-going stoner and brilliant third-year medical student in abnormal psychiatry, who has a secret crush on her. But while Jack is trying to understand the criminal mind, his classmate and rival, Max White, is trying to eliminate it through genetic engineering. Competing for Jessica’s attention, Jack and Max become the primary suspects. Meanwhile, Max has a secret of his own: he’s aiding a prominent Chicago woman in her fertility woes. And just for good measure, there’s a blackmailer afoot.
Grittier than its predecessors, and far more haunting, Kelly Oliver’s third page-turning Jessica James adventure blends a smartly-funny and delightfully complex murder mystery with a touch of medical thriller, in which Jessica and Jack battle biological crimes at the hands of a unique—and menacing—thief.
About the Author
Kelly Oliver is the award-winning, best-selling, author of The Jessica James Mystery Series, including WOLF, COYOTE, FOX, and JACKAL. Her debut novel, WOLF: A Jessica James Mystery, won the Independent Publisher’s Gold Medal for best Thriller/Mystery, was a finalist for the Forward Magazine award for best mystery, and was voted number one Women’s Mysteries on Goodreads. The second novel, COYOTE won a Silver Falchion Award for Best Mystery. And, the third, FOX was a finalist for both the Claymore Award and the Silver Falchion.
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Cover reveal – Promise me forever

Promise Me Forever
Jennifer Woodhull
(Promise, #3)
Publication date: November 8th 2018
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

He Knows How Lucky He Is…

That Doesn’t Mean He’s Happy

There are a hundred guys in Nashville who would kill to be in Rome’s shoes. He’s a damn good guitar player, and in Nashville, that means one thing – country music is his bread and butter. Rome’s passion is classical guitar, though, and in Guitar Town, those gigs are few and far between.

His brother-in-law offers to get him an audition with an artist in the United Kingdom who needs a guitarist to play classical and Celtic music with her on tour. The opportunity is a dream come true. When Rome meets Lauren, the brooding and mysterious musician, though, he finds out the tour may be more than he bargained for. He’s the magnet to her broken steel. Lauren’s painful past keeps her at arms’ length. Is the promise of forever one Rome can really keep? Or will he end up leaving her behind, just like everyone else?

Add to Goodreads

Author Bio:

We all need moments of escape. With all the demands on us day in and day out, we each need something just for ourselves. Perhaps nothing provides a private moment – a brief respite from the everyday – like escaping into a great story. When you pick up one of my books I hope you find that place that you can escape to. Explore the streets of Paris with new heroines, or fly around the world to reclaim your lost love with a favorite hero. Whether it’s the romance that takes your breath away or those climactic encounters that make your pulse race, I hope you find that solitary moment of enjoyment while lost in one of my stories.

Jennifer Woodhull is based in the Southern United States, spending time in her second home of England, and traveling as often as she can. Her love of travel permeates her work, and her characters often find themselves exploring new and foreign surroundings.

A keen observer of human behavior, Jennifer often draws inspiration from something as simple as a fleeting connection, or the glimpse of a unique trait or characteristic. Her favorite place to write is on airplanes.

“The drone of the engine, the scores of people, all traveling to something or from something, and being disconnected from digital distractions are a combination that provide the perfect place to write,” she says. “If you see a woman in seat 9F who is balancing her Macbook on her lap because it’s time to close your tray table, please have patience. I’m just trying to finish one more sentence.”

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Book blitz – Posthumous by Paul Aertkar

Middle Grade

Date Published: June 2018

Publisher: Flying Solo Press

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Friendship, perseverance, and the power of belief shine in this novel about a girl trying to stay connected to her late mother.

While living in Paris, Ellie Kerr’s mom penned a series of children’s stories, yet sadly died before they could be published.

Once Ellie and her father return to the US, the twelve-year-old decides to finish what her mother could not. When Ellie is mysteriously blocked by a password on her mother’s computer, she becomes determined to find the truth — even though four failed attempts will destroy the computer’s data, including her mom’s stories!

Ellie’s father thinks that the code is unbreakable, but Ellie believes that her mother might have left a posthumous message in the new password. With the help of friends, Ellie tries to crack the code, publish the books, and ultimately honor her mother.

Praise for Posthumous:

“A deeply moving story that belongs on any juvenile bookshelf.” -Foreword Reviews



“A reminder that inclusiveness and kindness can always defeat fear.” -Kirkus Reviews



“Warmly suited to a middle-grade audience, with relatable and vulnerable first-person narration, authentic dialogue, and apt descriptions.” -BookLife Prize

About the Author

Paul Aertker (ETT Kerr)  is a children’s book writer, teacher, and a frequent speaker at elementary and middle schools.

He began his teaching career in West Africa with the Peace Corps where he helped establish the town’s first public library.

His first series, Crime Travelers, consistently ranks in the top spot on multiple Amazon categories.

His newest book, Posthumous, is available in 2018.

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Book blitz- Rachel’s search by Oscar Patton

A Satilla County Novel
Historical Fiction
Date Published: July 2018
Publisher: Outskirts Press
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What does the second coming of the Klan portend for Satilla County? Is it one more sign evil is winning? Setting out to find answers, a northern-born young journalist experiences life in the deep South, the struggle to survive for whites and blacks. Her search turns personal and horrific when her best friend disappears.
Boston born journalist Rachel Mellon sees the second coming of the Klan in 1915 as more fuel on a fire already burning out of control, not only in Satilla County but around the world. To her, the new South appears to be as bad as the old, or worse. Challenged by her editor, she goes out to experience life for herself out there in the pine woods. She finds poor whites and even poorer blacks struggling to survive against great odds. She finds suffering and hatred but also hope and love. When best friend Eve disappears, Rachel’s search turns personal and horrific.
About the Author
Oscar Patton is the author of the Satilla County series of novels. He says, “I use history, memory, and imagination to create regional stories with universal, timeless themes. As William Faulkner put it, I write about the ‘human heart in conflict with itself.'”
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Book blitz – Gap toothed girl by Ray Harvey

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Contemporary Fiction
Date Published: August 2018
Publisher: Pearl Button Press
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“Tournament night in a sweltering Las Vegas stadium, and the girl with the gap-toothed smile stood bleeding in her ballet slippers.”
Thus begins Gap-Toothed Girl, the story of Dusty May, a Lakota orphan with an iron will, who runs away from the horrific circumstances of her foster home and her foster father — a man of beast-like brilliance and power — to pursue her dream of lightness and ballet, even as her foster father unleashes an army to bring her down.
Part literary fiction, part thriller, part dance story, Gap-Toothed Girl is at its core a tale of human joy and freedom of will — a “relentlessly paced novel” combining “the surreal imagery of Nabokov with the psychological complexity of Dostoevsky” (Fort Collins Forum) to investigate the depths of the human psyche and the indomitable will to succeed, ultimately plumbing the very nature of human happiness and the human soul.

Excerpt
Chapter 1
Tournament night in a sweltering Las Vegas stadium, and the girl with the gap-toothed smile stood bleeding in her ballet slippers. The sodium lights of the arena lay upcast on the low-hanging sky above. An electrical charge hummed through the air: a crackling undercurrent that came neither from the lights nor from the distant heat lightning, but from the galvanized excitement of the crowd.
Before her, some twenty feet away and elevated four feet off the ground, there stretched a long green balance beam, atop which, at the southernmost end, stood eight empty whiskey bottles. The bottles were perfectly upright and in single file. A small springboard crouched in front.
High above her floated a long banner which said, in shimmering red letters:
A CONTEST OF MOTION
She closed her eyes and inhaled. The air was dry. She stood alone upon the stage. She was dusky-limbed, Lakota. She held her breath a moment and then she released it.
When she opened her eyes, her gaze settled on the objects before her: the springboard, the balance beam, the whiskey bottles. The heat hung heavy. A rill of sweat slid between her breasts. She didn’t see the tiny camera-flash explosions igniting everywhere around her from within the darkness of the stadium. She forgot that there were thousands of eyes fixed upon her. She forgot also the pain in her toes and was unaware of the bleed-through and the blood leaking like ink across the entire top part of her slipper.
Offstage in the shadows, a lanky youth in a baseball cap gave a thumbs-up, but it wasn’t directed toward her.
A man with a microphone emerged on stage. He was thin and well-dressed and darkly complexioned.
A hush came over the crowd. The man held the microphone to his mouth. His voice came booming through the speakers with great clarity.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” he said, “ladies and gentleman. May I have your attention, please. Thank you. We are finally at the end of the night, and — my Lord — what a night it’s been. What a competition.”
The crowd erupted.
“We have seen — excuse me, please — we have seen tonight some of the very best dancers in the world, and I’m sure you know this is not an exaggeration. We have only one more to go. Did we save the best for last? Need I remind you that there’s fifty thousand dollars at stake here?”
He paused.
“Now,” he said, “now, then. Do you see this young woman up on the stage with me? I’m told she’s about to do something that only one other person in human history is known to have done, and that was Ms. Bianca Passarge, of Hamburg, Germany, in 1958 — except Ms. Passarge, I am told, was not mounting a balance beam when she did her routine. Can this little girl — all 115 pounds of her — I say, can she do it? Can she steal the money from these big city boys and girls, the Bronx break dancers and West Coast B-Boys and all the others who have astounded us here tonight with their strength and agility and their grace of motion? Folks, we are about to find out.”
The crowd erupted again. The MC turned and looked at the girl on stage behind him.
He winked.
He lowered the microphone and said in an unamplified voice that sounded peculiar to her:
“Are you ready?”
He smiled kindly.
She nodded.
He gave her the A-OK sign with his fingers and nodded back. Then her lips broke open in return, disclosing, very slightly, her endearing gap-toothed smile.
He brought the microphone back to his mouth and turned again to the audience.
“Here we go!” he said.
The crowd went dead-silent in anticipation.
“Okay, okay!” she thought. All ten of her fingers wiggled unconsciously and in unison.
Abruptly, then, the lights above her darkened while simultaneously the lights behind her brightened, and then the music began: fast-paced and throbbing and happy.
She bolted forward.
She sprinted toward the balance beam and with astonishing speed executed a back handspring onto the springboard, vaulting into a full fluid backflip on one foot upon the beam — which in the very same motion turned into another back handspring, and then another, all to within inches of the bottles at the far end of the beam. This entire process took no more than five seconds. Here she paused for a fraction and then performed a half turn. From there she leapt lightly onto the first upright whiskey bottle, which wobbled only slightly under her weight. She placed her other toe catlike upon the next whiskey bottle, and then she raised herself en point to great heights….
About the Author

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Ray A. Harvey, novelist, essayist, published poet, athlete, and editor, son of Firman Charles Harvey (RIP) and his wife Cecilia, youngest of thirteen half brothers and half sisters, was born and raised in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. He’s worked as a short-order cook, copyeditor, construction laborer, crab fisherman, janitor, pedi-cab driver, bartender, and more. He’s also written and ghostwritten a number of published books, poems, and essays, but no matter where he’s gone or what he’s done to earn a living, literature and learning have always existed at the core of his life.
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Book blitz- Because you’re the love of my life

Because you're the love of my life
Because you’re the love of my life
Book & Author Details:
Because You’re the Love of My Life
by Sarah Kleck
Publication date: September 25th 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

Because you're the love of my life cover

Because you’re the love of my life cover

Synopsis:

How do you recognize the love of your life? Do you have butterflies in your stomach? Do you see showers of sparks and fireworks as soon as he steps into the room? Or, is your big love composed of something quieter?

Annie longs for nothing more in her life than someone to love her with his whole heart. With Holden, this wish seems fulfilled, and the two build their own world. But how much pain can happiness bear? When something utterly shocking happens, Annie’s life becomes unstable, and nothing is as it once was. Then, she unexpectedly bumps into her teenage love Seth, and her life is completely thrown off balance—especially when fate intends its own tragic story.

From the Editor:
Because You’re the Love of My Life is a story of love, heartbreak, and more love—romantic and otherwise. As a senior in high school, our protagonist, Annie, takes charge of her life, and she bravely separates herself from a difficult mother and home life, and from recent heartbreak. She moves across the country—without financial or familial support—to attend college at Harvard. “I felt at home in Boston in a way I never had . . . This was right for me,” Annie says.
And, it is true: she blossoms personally, academically, and, then, professionally. Though she fumbles at times in ways that seem utterly human and familiar, she forges friendships, commits to a relationship, and navigates through profound tragedy.
Annie narrates from a point well past when the events of the novel took place and with the perspective gained from that time. Yet, Sarah Kleck renders Annie’s narration so vividly that it seems as if these memories are unfolding in present time. Sarah Kleck’s devotion to Annie’s story shines through sharply written dialogue, authentic detail of culture and place, and a cast of richly rendered characters—among them Grace, Annie’s sassy best friend, and the various loves of Annie’s life.
Because You’re the Love of My Life made me wish I could accompany Annie beyond these pages, and it left me hungry for Sarah Kleck’s next novel.
– Rebecca Friedman, Editor

Excerpt

“Good evening, what can I do for you?” The pharmacist greeted me at the counter.
“ . um . . . need a laxative,” I said embarrassed. I would’ve preferred to pick one on my own, but I didn’t have a clue which was best, so I went straight to the pharmacist.
“How long have you been constipated?” she asked, unfazed.
“About three days.”
She nodded. “Are you drinking enough fluids? Do you exercise and eat a healthy diet?”
“Yes,” my voice was becoming stiff, “normally my digestion works just fine.” Couldn’t she just go and get the stuff? I didn’t feel like discussing my bowel movements with her. This was downright humiliating.
“Well, for acute constipation, the drugs for that should only be taken over a short—”
“Just give me something that’ll help me go to the bathroom by tomorrow morning.”
“Fine,” the pharmacist answered and went off to get my laxative. At that moment, I heard a strange clicking sound. I turned around. It was Holden, on crutches, and he had a big white cast on his left leg.
“Hi,” he said with a big smile. At least he seemed happy to see me.
“Hi,” I forced a smile. “How’s your leg? It looked pretty bad during the game last Saturday.”
“Clean break,” he said, gesturing toward his leg. “The good news is,” he continued with a sly grin while pulling a crumpled-up prescription from his jeans pocket, “my doctor prescribed the works for my pain.”
Just then the pharmacist returned with a box of Dulcolax in her hand.
“Have you used this before?”
Oh no . . .
“Yes,” I answered quickly, hoping she’d shut her damn trap and let me pay before Holden saw what I was buying. My wish was not granted.
“Just take one tablet this evening. That’ll soften your stool overnight. After six to eight hours, the constipation will have loosened up.”
Oh God! Take me now!
While I blushed beet red, I could see Holden looking at me from the corner of my eye—with the broadest grin you could imagine.
I’m gonna die!
“If this is a particularly bad case of constipation,” the pharmacist continued mercilessly, “you can take two tablets. Don’t take more or you’ll have diarrhea.”
What the fuck was wrong with this woman? She wasn’t a doctor, and this wasn’t a goddamn doctor’s appointment!
She packed the little box into a small plastic bag. I dared to hope it was finally over—but, no, she started right up again. “Your intestines will void completely after intake, so don’t expect another bowel movement for two to three days.”
What have I done to deserve this?
Since I couldn’t think of anything to say in the face of this humiliation—especially in front of him—I just nodded silently while my ears were burning.
The pharmacist rang me up and handed me the bag with a cheery “Have a good evening.” Then she turned to Holden. “What can I do for you?”
I didn’t dare look at him. I mumbled a goodbye, squeezed by him as quickly as I could, and headed for the door.
“Bye, we’ll get together sometime,” he replied, while clearly trying to suppress a grin. “Oh, Annie,” he called after me before I could complete my escape from this hell.
I stopped on the spot but didn’t turn around. “Yes?” my voice was trembling with shame. I shut my eyes.
“Good luck!”

AUTHOR BIO:

Sarah Kleck

Sarah Kleck

Sarah Kleck was born in 1984 in Southern Germany. She studied education, psychology, and sociology at the University of Augsburg. Today, she lives with her husband and their daughters in Germany near Lake Constance.

Sarah caught the imagination of 120,000 readers worldwide with her first novel “The Concealed” and its sequel “The Revealed”. After this successful fantasy series for young adults, she is now entering new territory with “Because You’re the Love of My Life”. Already a bestseller in Germany, this novel is now being published in English.

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Book blitz – Dagger’s destiny by Linnea Tanner

Curse of Clansmen and Kings, Book 2

Historical Fantasy

Publisher: Apollo Raven Publisher

Release Date: September 26, 2018

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A Celtic warrior princess accused of treason for aiding her enemy lover must win back her father’s love and trust

In the rich and vibrant tale, Author Linnea Tanner continues the story of Catrin and Marcellus that began with the awarding-winning novel APOLLO’S RAVEN in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings Series. Book 2: DAGGER’S DESTINY sweeps you into an epic tale of forbidden love, mythological adventure, and political intrigue in Ancient Rome and Britannia.

War looms over 24 AD Britannia where rival tribal rulers fight each other for power and the Romans threaten to invade to settle their political differences. King Amren accuses his daughter, Catrin, of treason for aiding the Roman enemy and her lover, Marcellus. The ultimate punishment is death unless she can redeem herself. She must prove loyalty to her father by forsaking Marcellus and defending their kingdom—even to the death. Forged into a warrior, she must overcome tribulations and make the right decisions on her quest to break the curse that foretells her banished half-brother and the Roman Empire will destroy their kingdom.

Yet, when Catrin again reunites with Marcellus, she is torn between her love for him and duty to King Amren. She must ultimately face her greatest challenger who could destroy her life, freedom, and humanity.

Will Catrin finally break the ancient prophecy that looms over her kingdom? Will she abandon her forbidden love for Marcellus to win back her father’s trust and love? Can King Amren balance his brutality to maintain power with the love he feels for Catrin?


Other Books in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings series:

Apollo’s Raven

Curse of Clansmen and Kings, Book 1

Publisher: Apollo Raven Publisher

Published: April 2017

A Celtic warrior princess is torn between her forbidden love for the enemy and duty to her people.

AWARD-WINNING APOLLO’S RAVEN sweeps you into an epic Celtic tale of forbidden love, mythological adventure, and political intrigue in Ancient Rome and Britannia. In 24 AD British kings hand-picked by Rome to rule are fighting each other for power. King Amren’s former queen, a powerful Druid, has cast a curse that Blood Wolf and the Raven will rise and destroy him. The king’s daughter, Catrin, learns to her dismay that she is the Raven and her banished half-brother is Blood Wolf. Trained as a warrior, Catrin must find a way to break the curse, but she is torn between her forbidden love for her father’s enemy, Marcellus, and loyalty to her people. She must summon the magic of the Ancient Druids to alter the dark prophecy that threatens the fates of everyone in her kingdom.

Will Catrin overcome and eradicate the ancient curse. Will she be able to embrace her forbidden love for Marcellus? Will she cease the war between Blood Wolf and King Amren and save her kingdom?

Excerpt

Treason

July, 24 AD, Southeast Britannia

The image of her father being wounded at the prisoner exchange haunted Princess Catrin as she entered the cave’s dank womb where warriors had secretly carried the casualties. Under the illumination of a flaming torch, she found several men hovering over the king’s motionless body. She feared the decision to use the dark forces of the Ancient Druids to alter the future could doom her father and people.

Catrin trembled as she knelt by her father and studied his bloodsmeared face. A chill of foreboding sliced down her spine. Just that morning, she had made love with Marcellus on what could be her father’s deathbed.

She placed the palm of her hand on his forehead. His skin was cold and clammy, but he was still alive.

Feeling the bloody streaks on his tunic, she pulled her fingers away and turned to Cynwrig, the king’s most-trusted guard. “Help me remove the tunic. I need to stop the bleeding!”

Cynwrig supported the king as Catrin cut the fabric from his chest. The ghastly crisscross cuts and deep abdominal gash made her cringe. A stench like rotten eggs assaulted her nostrils.

King Amren fidgeted. “Fetch my Druidess.”

“No!” Catrin snapped. “Agrona is a traitor. We can’t risk letting anyone

know we’ve rescued and are tending you. There are herbs near the wall that will help reduce the swelling.”

Catrin clasped her father’s icy hands and noticed his sunken, bloodshot eyes. She looked to Cynwrig. “Heat a knife so I can seal his wounds. I also need water from the river.”

“Do what my daughter says,” rasped Amren.

Cynwrig pointed to the cave’s opening. “I’ll start a fire over there and get someone to fetch the water.”

While Cynwrig prepared the fire, Catrin rummaged through several pouches, searching for the proper herbs. After a warrior returned with a bucket of water, she soaked several strips of willow bark in the container, then crushed dried blackberry, borage, and sage stems in a ceramic mortar.

She finally added vinegar to the powder and stirred the contents with her finger into a green paste.

She looked at Cynwrig. “Is the knife ready?”

Cynwrig pulled the glowing red blade from the flames. “It looks hot enough.”

“Then bring it to me.”

Catrin took the knife from Cynwrig, who then restrained the king’s arms. She pressed the searing blade on the wounds, methodically moving downward. The king writhed in agony, his eyes as wild as a wounded animal’s as he fought Cynwrig’s restraint. Concentrating on her task, Catrin swallowed the bile in her mouth and handed the dagger to Cynwrig to reheat the blade. Light-headed and in a cold sweat, she leaned into the hard wall to brace herself, then applied the paste dressing over her father’s reddened wounds. Even with her gentle touch, his muscles flinched. Observing the anguish on his face, she placed a blanket under his head and gave him chamomile and poppy in water to ease his pain.

She continued the treatment by placing bark strips on the dressing until the king’s grip around her wrist stopped her.

“We need to speak about Marcellus,” Amren said with a growl from deep within his throat.

Catrin winced, apprehensive her father knew about her relationship with the Roman hostage placed under her charge. She warily studied the king as he closed his eyes and breathed deeply. He waved Trystan, his second- in-command, over and whispered to him. With a nod, Trystan ordered everyone away.

The hairs on Catrin’s neck prickled. The only reason her father would order warriors away would be to reprimand her. She wilted under the king’s burning glare as he began questioning. “Trystan told me when we were imprisoned together that Cynwrig found you unconscious in Marcellus’s arms. I want to know what happened between the two of you.”

Catrin hesitated, fearing her revelation would anger her father and cause his condition to deteriorate. “You should rest now. We can discuss this later.”

“No. Tell me now!” Amren snapped.

Catrin could feel the king’s eyes probing her like a sharp-edged scalpel for the truth. She bit her lower lip to stop it from quivering. “When I was stricken with the falling sickness, Marcellus came to my aid.”

“Trystan said the Roman was found naked with you, and Agrona accused him of bewitching you with an amulet!”

“Marcellus had just finished bathing,” Catrin answered, suddenly feeling queasy.

Amren cocked an eyebrow. “Bathing?”

“Yes.”

“And that is all that happened?”

Catrin froze under her father’s cold stare.

“Answer me!”

“You can’t trust what Agrona says,” Catrin replied.

“And why is that?”

“She is a druidic spirit from your past.”


About the Author

Since childhood, award-winning author, Linnea Tanner, has passionately read about ancient civilizations and mythology that held women in higher esteem, particularly the enigmatic Celts reputed to be warriors and druids. She has extensively researched and traveled to sites described in the Curse of Clansmen and King series. A native of Colorado, Linnea attended the University of Colorado and earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemistry. She lives in Windsor with her husband and has two children and six grandchildren.

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Cover reveal of Fountain dead by Theresa Braun

Cover reveal fountain Dead
Fountain Dead cover reveal

Expected Publication: Mid-November

Genre: Mature YA Horror/ Paranormal

Fountain Dead cover
Fountain Dead cover

Mark is uprooted from his home and high school in the Twin Cities and forced to move with his family into a Victorian in Nowhere-ville. Busy with the relocation and fitting in, Mark’s parents don’t see what’s unfolding around them—the way rooms and left behind objects seem alive with a haunted past.

The house
The house

Of course, Mark keeps his ghostly encounters to himself, all the while sinking deeper into the house’s dark, alluring, and ultimately terrifying history. As romantic entanglements intensify, the paranormal activity escalates. Past and present come together. Everything is connected—from the bricks in the walls to the hearts beating in their chests, all the secrets of Fountain Dead are finally unearthed.

Coming Soon!

Excerpt
The vapor wafting from the stagnant pool smelled like the rancid rot from inside a carcass. Mark felt he breathed in fire. The gooey surface boiled and foamed as if a prehistoric substance. His heart stopped as something emerged. A goopy and gnarled dome became a sickly face. The eyelids still closed, the rest of the form rose, covered in green.

A tattered dress clung to the feminine curves. The cloth slipped from the shoulders, drawing his attention to her skin. The texture made him gag.

A sour taste of bile filled his mouth. His skin contracted as he contemplated her spongy flesh. Her black eyes sprang open like a demonic doll’s. Her inhuman gaze stabbed his very core, and he knew he was facing a soul-less being. The eyes burned like hot stove burners.

A decomposing hand extended toward his throat.

Mark woke, wet with perspiration. His pillowcase and sheets were damp, as if he’d taken a swim in the fountain. That idea made him unable to breathe. His heartbeat sped along at a rate close to heart attack status as he tried not to blow a gasket about the evil that lie in wait. He whipped his pillow from behind his head and squashed it to his chest. No one would grasp what he’d been feeling—or what he’d been seeing.

His lip trembled.

Something—a fiend, a spirit, the fountain—wanted to hurt him.

Mark’s chest compressed.

The devil on his shoulder advised him that his mother had to be right. All of the metal music, the cartoons, the swearing, had been an invitation for demons and darkness. Forget the fact that none of his friends had ever mentioned opening some gateway to hell. These dark forces had chosen him.

He lied back, exhaustion sinking him deeper into the mattress. After pulling the blood warm sheets up to his chin, he shunned the moonlight streaming into the room. The crooked claws of the branches squealed against the half-open windowpane. Summer’s hot breath puffed into the house. Mark didn’t have to strain to hear its griping—the sighs of the woodwork and the building’s various joints.

The door to the servants’ quarters was open again. However, that bothered him less and less. A perfume of fragrant flowers sent him to sleep.

About the Author

Theresa Braun
Theresa Braun

Hmmm. What’s this? Looks like Ms. Braun left her computer on and her Goodreads bio open.
This should be fun.
What can we say about Theresa? I mean other than the fact that she’s weirdly obsessed with smiley faces :-). Like, seriously obsessed >:-*. It’s kinda scary :-O.
I think she thinks she’s from Renaissance England or Venice or something. I never could figure out which one it was. (She’s really bad at doing accents.)
She likes romance novels and crime TV, which are pretty much the same thing when you think about it. Ha! Am I right?
She has a hell of a singing voice. Seriously. It’s, like, seventh circle of hell bad.
She likes editing. A lot. Just wait till she get’s aload a this.
Cats. Shoes. Chips and salsa. In that order.
Yeah, that last part didn’t make sense to me either.

Website: https://www.theresabraun.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tbraun_author
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theresa.braun.9

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